REAL STORIES: A Flowering Dogwood-inspired Spring Bat Mitzvah in November

September 8, 2010 ,
empty image
empty image

When you think of November, don’t you wish for delicate dogwood blossoms and the sun’s golden rays?  Our Bat Mitzvah girl always had such a bright smile that event designer Brian Kappra was only too happy to provide the joys of Spring for her Fall Bat Mitzvah.

Photos courtesy of Phil Kramer.

As guests arrived, they walked under a canopy of branches, vines and flowers holding suspended dogwood place cards (hung in alphabetical order, of course!).  We suspended the flowers from our specially-designed vine “hooks” so that guests could easily pick their seating assignments from the arbor.

The adults’ cocktail tent was filled with intimate seating groups of modern white leather, crystal bars and ornately mirrored tables.  Our custom dogwood lanterns draped overhead as a chandelier and shimmered all evening.  Yellow pillows in various silk fabrics were placed on sofas, tufted banquettes and patent leather ottomans for a touch of the client’s favorite color.  White lamps, mercury glass candle sticks and frosted votives were elegant-but-modern accessories.

Guests were invited into dinner where the theme was brought to life in an OVER-THE-TOP fashion!   The classic dogwood silhouette became the inspiration for a custom fabric treatment we designed to suspend across the entire width of the ceiling.  Then, we added white dogwood lanterns that seemed to hang like angels here and there, as if they were dropping from the trees.  Lucite dinner tables and crystal chivari chairs were dressed with gorgeous sheer linens covered in silk dogwood blossoms and crystals.  White and clear vases in various shapes and sizes were filled with white, ivory, butter and yellow flowers.  Vibrant yellow forsythia branches were a huge surprise for the client as were the crystal drops suspended from them!   Remote-controlled lights placed under each table, and behind the fabric panels, allowing us to change the color of the room throughout the evening to coordinate with the timeline.

The large circles at each end of the room – reminiscent of the sun – were actually video screens which moved in and out of the set as needed!  Always a favorite, our custom LED dance floor was programmed to create beautiful and dynamic effects for each stage of the party.

Lighting is KEY to enhancing the mood, tone and ambiance of any space.  Just look at that stunning blue room!  From blue to magenta to gold – the dramatic changes in the room when we played with our extensive lighting kept momentum building all night!

Nothing is quite as beautiful as lush, gorgeous, imported flowers in the doldrums of November.  But the smell of all these incredible flowers – from the roses to the lilac to the lilies and stock – knocked your socks off!

The table of honor for our bat mitzvah girl and her “besties” was the only long “feast-style” table in the room – a long oval – that had low lush flower arrangements as well as tall designs for aethetic balance.

The napkins were rolled and slipped into napkin rings made to coordinate with our dogwood blossom linens.  They were placed upon floral impression glass charger plates we had made to coordinate with the whole event design.  Additional china pieces in the same pattern were placed at each table setting to keep all the china pieces consistent and subtle to the theme.  White water goblets and hand calligraphed place cards completed the settings.

Our LED dance floor was lit up all night in more ways than one!   Guests enjoyed the amazing and never-ending energy of a 16-piece orchestra from Atlanta.  But at the appropriate point in the evening, the video screen slid to stage left, the curtains were raised to reveal a stunning new set design for a surprise performance!   An ABBA cover band from Germany, playing every single favorite ABBA song you can imagine entertained the adults as well as the kids!  (not to mention the event staff!)

In addition to full planning and decor services for the event, we also designed and provided all of the staging, lighting and set design needs as well as backline and sound for the bands so that the event ran smoothly from installation through breakdown!  Facilitating all the talent, before the event, as well as on stage management and show calling, is not easy for every planner but we LOVE it!

Leslie Rosen Catering pulled off another delicious dinner menu but we loved the oversized martini bowls with delectable ice cream sundaes!   Then there was the incredible dogwood birthday cake from Anne Heap of the famous Pink Cake Box bakery.  After collaborating with Anne on the taste of the cake (way too many yummy choices!) we asked Anne to mimic the beauty and simplicity of the dogwood linens.  We wanted the whole presentation to look like on big fabulous cake!  She nailed it, down to the Swarovski crystals she added to the center of each dogwood blossom.

Favors for the guests included deckled edged photos, glass blown figurines and a framed certificate noting a contribution had been made to The Israel Sport Center for the Disabled.  Last impressions, like first impressions, are CRUCIAL!  As the guests waited for their cars in the carpeted (and heated!) foyer tent, they sipped hot cocoa and nibbled on homemade babka.  When it comes to a party like this, not one detail can be overlooked or under appreciated.   Mazel tov!


  1. OMG! This is awesome. I”m so happy to have found your blog today. You do know that you will have to top this party when this little girl gets married don’t you? That won’t be an easy task to do. Beautiful work!!

  2. Thanks Sandy, it one of several stunning (if we do say so) events we have done for the family over the years. We look forward to designing this little girl’s wedding with relish! we welcome any and all challenges!

Comments are closed.